Blue Hour

Stanley Turrentine

Blue Hour
(Blue Note)

Blue Hour

Stanley Turrentine, tenor sax; Gene Harris, piano;
Andrew Simpkins, bass; Bill Dowdy, drums.

1. I Want A Little Girl (Moll-Mencher) 7:03
2. Gee Baby Ain't I Good To You (Redman-Razaf) 5:20
3. Blue Riff (Gene Harris) 6:26
4. Since I Fell For You (Johnson) 8:48
5. Willow Weep For Me (Ronell) 9:56
Produced by ALFRED LION
Cover Photo by FRANCIS WOLFF
Cover Design by REID MILES
Recording by RUDY VAN GELDER
Recorded on December 16, 1960,
Englewood Cliffs, NJ.

If there is one thing that simultaneously reiterates the painful facts and serves as balm for your bruised soul, it is music. Specifically, the blues are about the most powerful combination of purgative and emollient that there is.

Stanley Turrentine's full-bodied tenor is ideally suited to the material here. Since his first Blue Note LP as a leader (Look Out!) and his numerous appearances as a sideman on this label with Horace Parlan, Arthur Taylor, etc., he has drawn nothing but high praise from a variety of critics. His direct, honestly emotional playing, embodying elements of the old and the new, pleases a wide scope of listeneing taste.

The fly, funky threesome known as The Three Sounds are very familiar to Blue Note listeners. In essence, this trio is an export of Benton Harbor, Michigan and a product of Indiana. Pianist Gene Harris and drummer Bill Dowdy were born in the Michigan city. Bassist Andy Simpkins was born in Richmond, Indiana, the state where the group was formed at South Bend in 1956. In addition to their own albums on Blue Note, the Sounds also did a set backing Lou Donaldson.

Although the blues ballad has mainly been the property of vocalists, many of the melodies are so attractive that our modern jazzmen began to play them during the '50s. The best of this type of song has always contained the warmth of the blues coupled with romantic elements from the "popular" tune. Buddy Johnson's "Since I Fell For You" is an excellent example.

"Gee Baby, Ain't I Good To You" goes back to the Forties when some memorable versions of this Don Redman tune were done by Lips Page and Nat Cole. Old Count Basie fans will remember Jimmy Rushing's original vocal plea of "I Want A Little Girl."

While never thought of as a blues ballad, "Willow Weep For Me," by its strong blues feeling, qualifies, even though it approaches the category from another direction than, say, the "Don't Cry, Baby" that Jimmy Mitchell did in the '40s with Erskine Hawkins.

The only 12-bar blues of the set is "Blue Riff" by Gene Harris. The tempo is a bit faster than any of the other, slow-grooved selections but it is in the same relazed mood.

This album has to make you feel good even when you are really brought down. You don't even have to shake well before using. Use it freely; its healing powers won't diminish. And if your baby happens to come back and you're feeling all right again, it won't hurt to enjoy Blue Hour together, even at twelve noon.

--IRA GITLER, from the liner notes.

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